Saying No to Single-Use Plastic in Indonesia

British diver Rich Horner captured shocking images of himself swimming through a sea of plastic rubbish off the coast of Bali (The Guardian, March 6, 2018)

Plastic waste in Bali is a serious problem. A recent report described plastic floating in on every wave and “discarded straws and instant noodle packets swirling around tourists’ feet.” A 2015 study revealed that five Asian countries — China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Thailand — account for up to 60 percent of plastic waste washing into oceans.
Authorities in Bali’s capital, Denpasar, enacted a ban on plastic bags, straws, and styrofoam last year. But plastic and recycling industry groups asked Indonesia’s Supreme Court to overturn the ban.
“The judicial review petition is a systematic attack on our local regulations,” says Margaretha Quina, an attorney at the Indonesian Center for Environmental Law (ICEL).
Last month, ICEL and other environmental law experts filed an amicus curiae brief to the Supreme Court showing that the Indonesian Waste Management Act makes it everyone’s legal obligation to reduce plastic waste.

ELAW Staff Scientist Dr. Mark Chernaik is now working with the group as it mobilizes to submit a second brief, to help judges understand how recycling single-use plastic, straws, and styrofoam is not technically or economically feasible.
“Overwhelming evidence shows that styrofoam containers, plastic straws, and plastic bags are incapable of being commercially recycled,” says Mark.
Margaretha and her colleagues have asked ELAW to share the following petition, in Indonesian and English, asking people around the world to help communities in Bali keep the single-use plastic ban in place:
ADUPI (Indonesian Plastic Recycling Association):
STOP Your Court Case against Bali’s Ban on Single-Use-Plastics!

ELAW is pleased to partner with the Break Free From Plastic movement to challenge the plastic menace in Indonesia and around the world.
For more information, see:
Single-Use Plastics Ban in Indonesia: Evidence of the Implementation of Waste Management Act (Alliance of Zero Waste Indonesia, 5/7/19)

Bali looks to turn the tide on plastic waste (Aljazeera, 2/13/19)

Maggie Keenan
ELAW Communications Director
Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide